The Champion

March 2003 , Page 45 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Jury Instruction Corner

By Thomas Lundy

 

The prosecution's burden of proof is not satisfied by conflicting inferences that are in a state of equipoise

On appeal of a jury verdict, the reviewing court must presume that the jury “resolved any [evidentiary] conflicts in favor of the prosecution, and must defer to that resolution.” Wright v. West, 505 U.S. 277, 296-97, 112 S.Ct. 2482, 120 L.Ed.2d 225 (1992). However, when conflicting inferences are equally probable or, in other words, when the evidence is in equipoise, “the party with the burden of proof loses.” Simmons v. Blodgett, 110 F.3d 39, 41-42 (9th Cir. 1997); see also Rexall v. Nihill, 276 F.2d 637, 644 (9th Cir. 1960); Reliance Ins. v. McGrath, 671 F.Supp 669, 675 (N.D. Cal. 1987); Estate of Obernolte, 91 Cal.App.3d 124, 129, 153 Cal.Rptr. 798 (1979) (“equal probability does not satisfy a burden of proof....”). The evidence must provide a reasonable basis to conclude that one inference is “more probable” than the other. See United States v. Ramirez-Rod

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad